This Month's Change Recipient
Growing Food Growing Hope
With eight years of garden success, Community Mercantile Education Foundation (CMEF) is launching the Growing Food, Growing Hope garden project in collaboration with DCCCA’s First Step at Lake View. Since 1999, CMEF (with support from The Merc Co+op) has overseen a variety of initiatives to connect youth and their families to the foods they eat. They focus on promoting personal health, strengthening community, and supporting a sustainable and local food system. The Growing Food, Growing Hope garden at First Step extends that focus on well being and a stronger community to a new, targeted population: women in recovery from substance abuse and their children.
For more information, visit www.growingfoodgrowinghealth.org.
2018 Change Recipients
Centro Hispano is a not-for-profit community resource center in Lawrence. They connect Spanish-speaking families and individuals to social services offered here at Centro, around Lawrence and throughout Kansas.
Since 2006 their different social workers, case managers, KU interns, and Americorps Volunteers (all bilingual!) have worked diligently to serve Lawrence’s diverse and resilient Hispanic community. And, they are proud to be able to sustain our strong connection to the community, especially through trying times and budget cuts.
They want to continue strengthening their clients’ connections to Lawrence and empowering them to be active members of this vibrant town. or more information, visit centrohispano.twofinches.com
Douglas County Dental Clinic
The Douglas County Dental Clinic provides comprehensive dental care to children and adults in our community who might otherwise not be able to access care.
Their Friendly Smiles school-based dental outreach program provides thousands of dental appointments each year to children who have Kansas Medicaid or who are uninsured and qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch programs at school.
Taking these services out into the community helps ensure that all children have access to dental care. They believe every child deserves a healthy smile!
For more information, visit www.dcdclinic.org.
Kansas Rural Center
The Kansas Rural Center works to build a sustainable food and farm system to provide healthy food and a healthy environment. KRC’s educational workshops provide practical how-to information on farming practices, food production and marketing across the state.
Because KRC believes that the grassroots engagement of an informed people should determine our cultural and technological choices, KRC monitors food, agricultural and economic policy at the state and federal levels. They provide regular analysis and information on critical food and farming issues via newsletter and electronic updates, and offer opportunities for citizen engagement in forums and workshops around the state.
For more information, visit www.kabc.org.
2017 Change Recipients
Headquarters, Inc. is the suicide prevention leader in Kansas, providing counseling, education and resources to improve public health. “Small but mighty” has been used to describe Headquarters Counseling Center, their National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) crisis center that serves people from all over Kansas, answering over 20,000 calls a year.
In operation since 1969, Headquarters’ commitment is to provide free and confidential crisis counseling and emotional support to everyone that reaches out. The crisis center is operated by trained volunteer counselors and is open 24 hours a day, all year long.
In addition, Headquarters operates the Kansas Suicide Prevention Resource Center-offering training and technical assistance to communities around the state, and promoting behavioral health advocacy and policy work. For more information, visit www.headquarterscounselingcenter.org.
CLO's Midnight Farm
Midnight Farm is a unique holistic day services site that operates within Community Living Opportunities non-profit organization. Midnight Farm serves adults with differing developmental abilities through engagement, classes, life skills, therapeutic benefits, encouragement of healthy choices, jobs and endless learning opportunities.
Working together in the on-site gardens and greenhouse is one of the most common ways in which skills and healthy choices are learned. Midnight Farms’ gardening program, Green Thumb Club, provides an opportunity to learn the importance and management of a healthy, organic garden.
Donors directly impact the learning and experiences of all individuals that utilize Midnight Farm throughout the year. For more information, visit www.midnight-farm.org.
Kansas Advocates for Better Care
Kansas Advocates for Better Care advocates for safe, good quality care for older adults and to prevent elder abuse and neglect. KABC provides older adults and their caregivers guidance, support and information about all things related to long-term care whether at home or in an adult care facility, including help for addressing specialized dietary needs such as low-sodium, or anti-inflammatory, or specially prepared foods for persons who have difficulties with swallowing due to stroke or dementia. For 40+ years KABC has provided older adults resources for improved care and healthier aging.
For more information, visit www.kabc.org.
Growing Food Growing Health
Now entering its eighth season, the Growing Food, Growing Health (GFGH) School Garden Project continues to grow and evolve. The project is directed by Community Mercantile Education Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit sister organization of The Merc Co+op. GFGH runs a beautiful production garden at West Middle School and two education-based gardens at neighboring Sunset Hill Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary. Sustainably grown produce (over 15,000 lbs to date) is used in the school cafeteria and sold to the co-op to help support the project.
For more information, visit http://www.themerc.coop/gfgh.
Falling Forward Foundation
Every day, another person suffers a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury. When insurance stops paying for rehabilitation, grants from Falling Forward make it possible for patients to continue their recovery and avoid a life of disability. All of the money raised by Falling Forward stays local. Falling Forward has no paid staff and 0% administrative costs. So, 100% of donations will be used to support someone doing their rehabilitation at Lawrence Memorial Hospital! Your donation will help another local person go from “disability” to ABILITY!
Learn more at www.fallingforward.org
Friends of the Kaw
Friends of the Kaw serves the Kansas River. The Kaw is the largest prairie based watershed in the world. The river originates at the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican Rivers and runs 173 miles to meet the Missouri River in northeast Kansas. The Kaw provides drinking water to 800,000 people.
Friends of the Kaw is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Kansas River for present and future generations. They are the only non-profit organization dedicated to the Kansas River and their work includes: monitoring, responding and mediating suspected pollution incidents to the river; advocacy efforts to protect the river; educational programming to both adults and school children; and, promoting recreation on the river.
For more information, visit kansasriver.org
Community Village Lawrence
Community Village Lawrence (CVL) provides volunteer assistance for those who desire to remain in their home as they age. CVL combines the efforts of volunteer individuals to create a caring support network. Volunteers experience the satisfaction of making a difference in the lives of others.
In the last 18 months, CVL has provided 756 services, including transportation, to 61 Lawrence residents. With help, those numbers will grow. Proceeds from the Change program will fund scholarships to reduce CVL’s waiting list and extend support to those in need. Perhaps you know someone who wishes to remain independent and could use help from a neighbor. Let them know. Discover the you in our community. For more information, visit www.communityvillagelawrence.org
Ecumenical Campus Ministries
Established in 1905, the Ecumenical Campus Ministries (ECM) provides a safe place for those committed to personal development, spiritual growth, and social action.
The ECM supports students and the wider community with programs including: Veggie Lunch, a free vegan lunch every Thursday, Tai Chi Chai Tea, Alternative Spring Break Trips, Interfaith Café, University Community Forum, and more. The Solidarity Library at ECM is a place community members can come to find progressive books, journals, films, and zines.
This fall, the ECM is opening a food pantry and thrift shop to provide increased access and fight hunger in our community.
For more information, visit www.ecmku.org.
First Step House
DCCCA coordinates programs across the Midwest to provide behavioral health prevention and treatment, recruitment, training, and support of foster homes and traffic safety education and resources.
DCCCA’s First Step at Lake View in Lawrence provides family centered, holistic addiction treatment for women. Priority is given to pregnant women and the facility’s licensed child care allows mothers to bring their children with them.
Treatment focuses on building skills and resources for long term recovery. Collaboration with community partners offers comprehensive medical care, domestic violence intervention, mental health services, and access to safe housing and employment.
For more information, visit www.dccca.org
For 32 years LINK has provided free home-cooked, nutritious meals in a safe and welcoming environment for individuals and families who may be homeless, hungry, lonely, physically or mentally disabled or low income. LINK is a non-profit, powered by 46 volunteer groups with part-time serving managers. Several groups have been serving since LINK began. LINK serves lunch four times a week. Everyone is welcome, no questions asked.
In 2016 LINK served 19,750 guests 27,035 meals. On Thanksgiving (2016), volunteers cooked and delivered 536 turkey dinners and served 225 meals at LINK.
Just Food is the food bank in Douglas County, supplying more than 29 partner agencies with frozen meat and fresh produce as well as bread and food donated from the community drives. Just Food also specializes in direct client service through programs like Just Grow, Just Cook and Cooking Healthy Futures.
Just Food and its partners play a key role in fighting hunger in our community by increasing the availability of a variety of healthy foods and helping to reduce waste and discarded food. In 2016, Just Food served over 13,000 Douglas County residents.
For more information, visit www.JustFoodKS.org
19th Annual Giving Tree
Individual donors, like you, cover the tree with handmade paper ornaments that represent gifts requested by our adopted families. Donors write their name and phone number on the ornament and hang it on the tree as a promise that they will provide this gift.
Visit the store after Thanksgiving (or contact Nancy O’Connor at 785.843.8544) to find out what items are needed and to sign up. Gifts should be new and delivered unwrapped to our Customer Service Desk by Monday, December 11.
All funds collected will supplement our adoptions and go toward the purchase of grocery gift cards. Surplus funds may be used to purchase gifts for families who have been not adopted.
2018 Change Recipients
The Giving Tree